With 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook is an incredible resource for nonprofits when it comes to online fundraising.

In the age of social media, it’s never been easier to access millions of people with a single click of a button, and in the world of nonprofits who depend on donations to fund their missions, that’s a huge deal. We’ve already discussed why Facebook is important and how to create the perfect Facebook post, but in general, what’s the best way to utilize Facebook for a particular fundraising campaign? Here are some important to steps to take to ensure you’re taking full advantage of Facebook during fundraising.

Plan ahead. Before a big fundraising event, plan your social media strategy ahead of time. Gather together content – photos, videos, blogs, etc. – that you can use to appeal to your donors and to make compelling content that will link to your fundraising page. Create a calendar and schedule your posts in advance to ensure you have consistent content going out on Facebook throughout the duration of the event.

Create a Facebook “event” and invite your followers. When you create an event on Facebook and invite your followers, you’re creating a central online spot that will notify your followers when you post updates on the event page, give the specific parameters and dates of the fundraising campaign, and allows your followers to invite their networks to the event. Creating an event is different from simply posting updates on your facebook page because those who are invited to your event will automatically receive notifications related to the event, and your posts can be exclusively about your fundraising campaign, rather than mixing them in with general posts on your nonprofit’s Facebook page. We suggest creating an event and posting in that event in conjunction with your regular Facebook page.

Equip your participants with social media collateral. To maximize your reach on Facebook, make sure participants in your event or those fundraising on your behalf are utilizing their own Facebook profiles in order to spread the word. Equip them with graphics and templates that they can post on their personal pages. You can use free design programs like Canva to create graphics like the one pictured below, and make sure those who are promoting your event or fundraising on your behalf have the correct links to your fundraising page and other important information.

Make your posts stand out. In order to ensure your posts are engaging include visuals when possible, like pictures and videos related to your campaign. Always include a link to your fundraising page in every post. For more tips on creating the perfect Facebook post, check out our blog on the subject.

Keep your followers updated, and pin important updates to the top of your page. In order to keep the momentum going and create a sense of urgency surrounding your fundraiser, make sure you’re giving up-to-date updates throughout the campaign. Post about your progress, how much you have left to raise, and how much time is left in your fundraiser and encourage your participants and followers to post as well. Facebook gives the option to “pin” a post so that it remains at the top of your timeline. Keep important announcements pinned so that it’s the first thing your visitors see when they click onto your Facebook page. In the case of running a campaign, you’ll want to keep your most informative post with a link to your fundraising campaign pinned to the top of your page.

Say thank you. When all is said and done, the most important thing you can do is give proper thanks to your donors. Be sure to schedule a few follow-up posts after your fundraising event that express your gratitude and share the outcome of your fundraiser.